Skip to contents

Weekly counts of new measles cases for the 17 administrative districts (NUTS-3 level) of the “Weser-Ems” region of Lower Saxony, Germany, during 2001 and 2002, as reported to the Robert Koch institute according to the Infection Protection Act (“Infektionsschutzgesetz”, IfSG).
data("measlesWeserEms") is a corrected version of data("measles.weser") (see Format section below). These data are illustrated and analyzed in Meyer et al. (2017, Section 5), see vignette("hhh4_spacetime").




data("measles.weser") is an object of the old "disProg" class, whereas data("measlesWeserEms") is of the new class "sts".

Furthermore, the following updates have been applied for data("measlesWeserEms"):

  • it includes the two districts “SK Delmenhorst” (03401) and “SK Wilhemshaven” (03405) with zero counts, which are ignored in data("measles.weser").

  • it corrects the time lag error for year 2002 caused by a redundant pseudo-week “0” with 0 counts only (the row measles.weser$observed[53,] is nonsense).

  • it has one more case attributed to “LK Oldenburg” (03458) during 2001/W17, i.e., 2 cases instead of 1. This reflects the official data as of “Jahrbuch 2005”, whereas data("measles.weser") is as of “Jahrbuch 2004”.

  • it contains a map of the region (as a "SpatialPolygonsDataFrame") with the following variables:


    district label.


    district area in m^2.


    number of inhabitants (as of 31/12/2003).


    proportion with a vaccination card among screened abecedarians (2004).


    proportion with at least one vaccination against measles among abecedarians presenting a vaccination card (2004).


    proportion of doubly vaccinated abecedarians among the ones presenting their vaccination card at school entry in the year 2004.

  • it uses the correct format for the official district keys, i.e., 5 digits (initial 0).

  • its attached neighbourhood matrix is more general: a distance matrix (neighbourhood orders) instead of just an adjacency indicator matrix (special case nbOrder == 1).

  • population fractions represent data as of 31/12/2003 (LSN, 2004, document “A I 2 - hj 2 / 2003”). There are only minor differences to the ones used for data("measles.weser").


Measles counts were obtained from the public SurvStat database of the Robert Koch institute:

A shapefile of Germany's districts as of 01/01/2009 was obtained from the German Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy ( The map of the 17 districts of the “Weser-Ems” region (measlesWeserEms@map) is a simplified subset of this shapefile using a 30% reduction via the Douglas-Peucker reduction method as implemented at

Population numbers were obtained from the Federal Statistical Office of Lower Saxony (LSN).

Vaccination coverage was obtained from the public health department of Lower Saxony (NLGA, “Impfreport”).


Meyer, S., Held, L. and Höhle, M. (2017): Spatio-temporal analysis of epidemic phenomena using the R package surveillance. Journal of Statistical Software, 77 (11), 1-55. doi:10.18637/jss.v077.i11


## old "disProg" object

## new "sts" object (with corrections)